Every year, we make our annual pilgrimage to the beach where we become true beach bums. Rather than running from tourist activity to tourist activity, we linger on our balcony in our pajamas each morning watching the dolphins play in the surf. After a lazy breakfast, we wonder down to the beach where we plant ourselves for the day. We float in the waves, relax, hunt for sea creatures, relax, build sand castles, relax, play Frisbee, relax, eat some snacks, relax, take a walk on the beach, watch the sunset . . . You get the picture. A perfect day is when we go from our pajamas to our swim suits back into our pajamas in the evening. Ah, I’m already in my happy place just dreaming about it.
After vacationing at the beach for 20+ years, we finally realized our dream and purchased a beach condo on Okaloosa Island, Florida. Part of our dream has always been sharing our beach home with other families. Since not all families like to sit on the beach like bums all day, I decided it was time to get out and research more of the local attractions. After a little research, I was surprised to find that the #1 activity in Destin is Beach Sand Sculptures, a mobile company that comes to you and teaches you how to build a “professional” sandcastle. I didn’t know sand castle building lessons existed.
I contacted the wonderful owners of Beach Sand Sculptures and we began the process of bringing their mobile unit to Okaloosa Island. In April, our family was lucky to receive their first mobile group lesson on Okaloosa Island. It was a sand sculpting blast for our entire family! And we actually learned professional sand sculpting tricks from our fabulous instructor Marcus. Not to brag but our sand castle was awesome! Now that we are professionals, I’ll share some of the sand sculpting tricks we learned.
12 Easy Tips to Build a Sand Castle Like a Professional
Beach Sculpting Supplies
(most can be found at the Dollar Store)
- 5 gallon form (bucket with bottom removed)
- 1 gallon form (bucket with bottom removed)
- buckets for carrying water
- inexpensive kids sand shovel
- saw blade (yes, kids must be supervised!)
- melon baller
- metal spatula
- inexpensive paint brush
- large straw or pipe for blowing
- spray water bottle
1. Build Away from the Shore
- The sand up away from the shore has been sifted by the wind.
- It is light and fluffy but when wet will create a dense, strong sand castle.
2. Get Lots & Lots & Lots of Water
(Then Go Back and Get Some More!)
- We learned 1 gallon of water weighs about 8 lbs.
- Marcus threw in some math. How much does a 5 gallon bucket of water weigh?
- Homeschool on the beach. What’s better than that?
3. Build a Strong Foundation
- We added more and more water to our foundation and stomped it down until it was nice and solid.
4. Use a 5 Gallon Form not a Bucket
- Marcus had 5 gallon buckets with the bottoms sawed off! This is the key!!!
- Fill 1/3 of the form with sand and add water.
- Mix, Mix, Mix sand and water.
- Tap the sides of the form to settle all of the sand.
- Repeat until you reach the top.
- You will be surprised how solid the sand feels, almost like concrete.
5. Use a One Gallon Form Not a Bucket
- Using the same sand and water mixing technique we topped the 5 gallon form with a 1 gallon form.
- Again, the bottom of the bucket was removed.
- We overflowed the top to create a round top.
6. Remove All of the Forms
- Viola, you have a very sturdy tower!
- Again, it feels almost like concrete. It is amazing.
7. Begin Sculpting Your Tower
- Use a metal spatula and strong cutting motions.
8. Create Pillars, Arches and Window
- Use a melon baller to carve details and a paint brush to remove sand particles.
- Gentle, gentle.
9. Layout Bricks and Rocks
- Yes, that is a saw blade. Children must be supervised!
10. Carve Bricks and Rocks
- Use brush handle to carve bricks and rocks.
- Use the brush and a large straw (or pipe) to remove sand particles.
11. Sculpt Stairs
- That inexpensive little shovel worked wonders on the stairway.
12. Add a Bridge
- Again the form is a genius trick!
- We always try to dig tunnels. And they always seem to come crashing down. Now we know better!
Stand Back . . . Time to Start Building Our Sand Castle
Be Prepared to Be Amazed (We Were)
Marcus from Beach Sand Sculptures provided all of the supplies and each of us got busy building our very own castle.
Witness . . . the very first Aristeguieta “Professionally Built” Sand Castle. Aren’t you impressed? After one lesson, a family of four armatures built this extraordinary sculpture. I give all of the credit to our exceptional instructor Marcus. He gave a us a hands-on demonstration and then really turned us loose to build our own. He interacted so nicely with our children and gave Miss Enigma a little extra attention without taking over her tower. This experience with Beach Sand Sculptures is really one of the best family activities we’ve ever done.
* I never do solicited reviews. I only share personal experiences. I thought I should add a little disclaimer because this post probably sounds like an advertisement. But it’s really just about another great day at the beach for our family!
Be Our Guest!
If you are planning a beach vacation to the Destin, Fort Walton Beach or Okaloosa Island, you are invited to be our guest!
We invite you to relax in our second floor, beach front retreat and enjoy the emerald waters and sugar white sands.
This sunrise can be yours! You can find more information and pictures of our Beach Condo listed on VRBO.com #673339.
Any plans for a beach getaway? How do you spend your days at the beach?
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